Ongpin won’t file defense to new charges yet

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Monday, June 9, 2014

BILLIONAIRE businessman Roberto Ongpin chose not to submit his written defense to the charges filed by an ex-employee whom he allegedly detained for three days in a prime resort near Polillo islands in Quezon last February.

At a hearing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday, Ongpin asked the investigating panel to furnish him documents related to the complaints filed by Eduveges Batalan, his former employee at Philweb Corp.

The DOJ panel led by Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera ordered Batalan and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to comment on the motion within 10 days.

After resolving the motion, the panel said it will eventually require Ongpin to file his counter-affidavit to the charges of serious illegal detention, robbery and grave coercion.

Batalan said that he was detained from February 4 to 7 in Balesin Island Resort, where he was forced by Ongpin to sign an affidavit stating that he withdrew P3 million from three of the bank accounts he personally created for the businessman's stock market trading activities.

But Ongpin, who was a no-show at the DOJ, said he will only dispute Batalan's assertions if his lawyers can fully examine the complaints.

Among the documents sought by Ongpin are "purported" two deposit slips pertaining to a certain account in the Bank of Commerce, photographs of certain persons in Balisin island, flight plans and records from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and text messages between Batalan and certain individuals.

Ongpin's co-respondents are Ma. Natalia Cristina Manalo Dalupan (Alphaland Executive Office), lawyer Carlo Bautista (Philweb Corp.), Roegelio Sulit (Alpha Force Security), Jigsaw Cartas (Alpha Force Security), Colonel Gregor Mendel Panelo (Alpha Force Security Agency), Roderico Arellano Bautista (Alpha Force Security Agency), Michael Angelo Asperin (resort director), Jerry Penaflor (Ongpin's close-in security), Josephine Manalo and Cliburn Anthony Orbe. (Sunnex)

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